Let’s support power generation initiatives -Chikwanda

Thu, 22 Dec 2016 12:07:01 +0000


SEVERAL power initiatives by the Government to promote local investments need support because they are aimed at making Zambia a net exporter of electricity, says energy expert Johnstone Chikwanda.

Mr Chikwanda said that President Edgar Lungu’s efforts to push for the diversification of the energy sector had been demonstrated by the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding for nuclear power deployment apart from other major power projects which the Head of State had launched in Zambia.

“The Government is committed to making Zambia a net exporter of electricity and it must also be borne in mind that in the near future, there will be excess electricity from South Africa which will be selling cheaper than what is available in some countries,” Mr Chikwanda said.

He explained that the purpose of regional projects was to assist neighbouring countries which were either not able to set up own power plants for many reasons including financial or their own projects would take time to come online.

He explained that the reason electricity in Zambia had been cheap was because of subsidies which had cost Government billions of dollars over the last decades.

Mr Chikwanda said Zambia had enormous potential for increased power production from a vast array of renewables, including solar, hydro, bio diesel and geo-thermal.

He said there was need to put in systems that would support the local investors in energy generation as that would be the country’s foreign exchange earner.

“Zambia among other African countries stands uniquely placed to develop a diverse and sustainable energy mix,” Mr Chikwanda said.

Mr Chikwanda further noted that the perceived refusal by some mining giants to pay cost reflective tariffs was affecting local investments negatively.

“Mining giants are the biggest users of electricity and their reluctance to pay a fair tariff regardless of historical agreements is not helping the sector to move forward and one get the sense that they are putting Government in a quandary,” he said.

He said he was of the view that the conduct of mines towards cost reflective tariffs was affecting the growth of energy sector, saying there was need for a balance in order to promote the local investors.


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